Me Too

  1. When I was in ninth grade, a boy grabbed me, pulled me into a dark doorway, pushed me against the wall, pushed himself against me, and made me kiss him. He shoved his tongue into my mouth and it tasted like Dr. Pepper. I didn’t drink Dr. Pepper for 20 years after that. That was my first kiss.
  2. This same boy came up to me during lunch one day and smashed a peeled orange in my face and then laughed.
  3. A Peeping Tom climbed onto the roof of my second-story home and leaned down over the side to look into my bathroom. It had a window, which I had open, while in the shower because I had no idea somebody would be able to look in on the second story. I screamed, got dressed faster than I ever had before, and left the house to hang out with my friends.
  4. I forgot something from my room on my way to a meeting in high school. My cousin, who was visiting, went back to get it for me. She found a man masturbating in my bed.
  5. The man in number 3 and 4 was my step father.
  6. My mother did nothing.
  7. At daycare in first grade, a boy peered into the armhole of my shirt and saw my nipple. He shamed me for having a nipple and for it being visible.
  8. At one of my first summer jobs in college, away from home and in another state, a man repeatedly asked me to date him, although I was already married and I repeatedly turned him down. He began coming up to my desk when I was not looking and surprising me by stroking my hair and putting his arms around me.
  9. While walking on the beach in India, Bree and I saw a man expose himself and begin masturbating while looking at us as we walked by. Something similar happened to us while we were in Austin, Texas.
  10. While in my first job after college, the mailroom guy would come around my desk and put his arm around me whenever he had the chance. I complained about him. Everyone already knew he was a problem. He had bothered many women. Nobody did anything.
  11. When teaching as a young graduate student, one of my older nontraditional male students used the last day of class as an opportunity to lean over me and touch me while I showed him something on a computer.
  12. In high school, three girls cornered me in the bathroom at a dance. One of them grabbed my shoulders, leaned down, and kissed me on both cheeks, smearing them with her black lipstick.
  13. On a senior class trip, I leaned over to grab my bag off the floor of the bus and a boy ran his fingers between my legs and said, “Credit card!”
  14. When an older high school boy found out that I had a crush on him, he came up to me at a rodeo and said, “Do you want to go make out until I turn hard?” No date, no getting to know me, no nothing. I said no, of course.

There’s a reason I wrote my dissertation about women in the workplace. I asked every single woman I interviewed about sexual harassment. All of them had a story.




My stories aren’t the worst stories, but they are mine. Me too. Me too.




16 thoughts on “Me Too

Add yours

  1. wow! this is all deeply disturbing in that it paints all of us (men) in such a bad light. i know that’s not what you’re saying, but sometimes i just wish my gender would stop being such idiots! it’s absolutely shameful that any woman (or girl) has to put up with that…

  2. Many people don’t discuss the sexual abuse that goes on in a marriage. A woman still has the right to say no. I did not have that option. And I was forced to give oral sex anytime he demanded it, regardless of how I was feeling. He physically would make me do it. But, since we were married, no one considered it abuse. It was my “wifely duty.” Me too.

  3. Thank you for posting this! Yes my list is also long, I’m afraid if I ever started to write it all down, especially about my step-father, I would lose all the control I have built up over the years. It’s an important subject and one that I suspect many people (myself included) have kept to ourself for years. My generation grew up believing that we were always at fault, so internalizing it became the norm. I suspect it is still a lot the same, victim blaming still stands (think Bill Cosby) Thank you for your braveness!

    1. It didn’t take long to come up with this list. I’m sorry to hear that yours is so long. Love to you! Thanks for being my friend. You give me courage to brave all the time.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Emily. It makes me think of all the young girls who have things happen to them and keep it all a secret. And many of us grow up thinking that’s just the way it is and there’s not much we can do about it.
    It also reminded me of many uncomfortable incidents in my own life that I was assuming weren’t ‘bad enough’ to count. But they really are.

  5. Emily, I’m deeply saddened to read this list. It is especially sad to think some of it was in your family. I do hope that there have been moments of healing for you.

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